Mensch is the Jewish term for a person of honour or integrity. A ‘mensch’ would be someone who is kind and considerate. Rabbi Neil Kurshan has written a book called “Raising Your Child to Be a Mensch”. He suggests that a “mensch” is a person who acts with self-control, humility and thoughtfulness.

A mensch realises that he or she is blessed. Some suggest this might be linked to the practice of 100 Blessings, where Jewish people say 100 things they are thankful for every day.

The making of a mensch can be tied to the Mussar movement. This movement is the Jewish spiritual practice that helps one to live an ethical and meaningful life. It is about living a good life and serving others. Mussar means working on yourself but not for yourself.

This could link brilliantly to the Habits of Heart. See if your students can see any similarities after watching the movie. Do the students think that the ancient insights and traditions from the Jewish faith could be relevant today?